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What You Think

User Opinion Story
Ashley Warner
3 January 2021 - 5:50pm
Maybe I'm stupid but I can't find a setlist for this anywhere and I know it's there somewhere Concert in the Clouds is back for 2021
28 December 2020 - 8:10am
I must give credit to Grant Broadcasters for keeping their services on air during the emergency. Very well done, obviously they have made significant investments in redundancy and backup systems. AM and FM radio is the best way to go in an emergency. It's best kept the role of the broadcasters to interrupt their programming with emergency information in situations like the bushfires. They're smarter than technology. I think the last AM / FM portable radio I bought cost me $12 from K Mart about 18 months ago.

Where an ABC local AM transmitter is taken out by natural disaster they should have the ability to quickly switch local radio programming onto an alternate frequency such as one used by Classic FM. AM and FM transmitters are rarely colocated.
Fires hit ABC Radio's Batemans Bay transmitter
Anthony The Koala
22 December 2020 - 6:39pm
In the mid 1980s I used to listen to the J-Team on the way to work (a broadcasting network) or on the way to tech.

The J-team was the breakfast program on JJJ. It consisted not only of "Rusty Nails" (Derek Thorpe), Jonno (Jonathan Coleman) and Dano (Ian Rogerson (how does one derive Dano from Ian or Rogerson), Lance Curtis (RIP), Angela Webber (RIP) and Adam Bowen (RIP).

The additional characters "Lillian Pascoe" the hip grannie played by Angela Webber, "Larry Davenport" a pensioner played by Lance Curtis, and Roger de Suave a hairdresser played by Adam Bowen added additional comic relief.

I believe the J-Team was the genesis of today's FM breakfast radio teams. The distinction between the J-Team and today's FM breakfast radio shows is that the J-Team was funny with genuine teamwork. This is unlike FM breakfast shows which break-up, various talents not getting on with each other and some of those talents reforming with other talents.

To those deceased members of the J-Team, you passed away so young. For Adam Bowen, 72 is young. May you rest in peace, Amen.

Thank you,
Anthony of Belfield
Vale ABC Radio’s Adam Bowen
Anthony The Koala
19 December 2020 - 10:24am
The author stimulated discussion in a previous post on community radio and regional radio. He raised valid concerns about the inroads made by community radio into the audience of commercial radio. I replied that community radio were acting within the law especially when it came to sounding professional and using professional people to raise funds.

The key is in paragraph 17 of this article, reforming the BSA (Cth). In the previous article, I raised the issue of the extent a regional radio can re-transmit non-regional content. The law says that a regional station is defined as not being within reach of a local GPO and that regional content on regional radio must be local between 0600 and 1800.

If the BSA is to be reformed, which parties are going to lobby for less regional content or more regional content?

I will return to the issue of regional content and community radio.

The author is correct on how technology is reducing expenses and the need to employ staff. The author mentions the purchase of software to edit content and the outsourcing of technical staff. Technology is not limited to software.

Technology can encompass the quality and reliability of equipment required to broadcast. In a similar vein to the suburban TV & radio repair shops of the 1950s and 1960s, valves were frequently replaced and unreliably-connected solder joints were the fare of these TV & radio repair. An example of a dry solder joint is illustrated in the comedy series "Keeping Up Appearances" where Onslow wanted to turn on/off the TV or change channels by banging his hand on the top of the TV cabinet. A dry solder joint is a poorly or loosely-connected component such as a valve, resistor or capacitor to a circuit board and/or soldered and/or screwed terminal.

Then, the equipment used in radio and TV stations had electro-mechanical components such as motors and relays in audio and video magnetic tape machines.

Today, such equipment is only used to replay archival material. That includes turntables and those 'lucky' enough to have 16" transcription players which started playback from the inside.

Thus, when equipment is more reliable in build and quality, and the playback of content is digital, there is less need for the services of permanent technical staff. OK pedants, optical disk players (CD, DVD, Blu-ray, 4K) have motors (stepper motors) which are easily replaceable.

Then there is no need for continuity (for TV) and master control operations. In the TV industry, there has been consolidation in operations needing less staff. For example in 2013, ABC and WIN-TV made a separate entity to outsource their continuity and master control operations from Ingleburn on the outerskirts of Sydney.

Technology could also reduce expenses in the form of transmission mode which reduces the consumption of electricity. Mr St. John in other posts has made the point that the biggest cost in running an AM transmitter is the energy used in transmitting the carrier frequency.

The carrier frequency is constantly operating BUT does not carry the 'information' which is contained in the sidebands. Mr St. John advocates DAB+ in cities and DRM+ in regional areas.

These modes of transmissions require less energy by virtue of not requiring sending and at the same time have capabilities of higher quality audio (depending on the bits per second rate), text and picture information (journaline) and emergency wake up of the receiver.

The issue for digital transmission in regional areas requires the lobbying of the regional broadcasters to our Federal MPs to change the legislation, the BSA (Cth) and the availability of DRM+ receivers in the market place. The main producers of DRM+ receivers are from India and some European countries, source https://www.drm.org/products-2/ .

Returning to the community radio and the parallel with the regional papers. There has been consolidation of over 60 regional newspapers in Australia. Most of these papers are owned by News Corp.

Some may say that regional newspapers are dead.

Community newspapers are taking over where regional newspapers left.

As one 'volunteer' said "It's just getting the news out there to those who cannot get local news," Source, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-18/volunteer-run-newsletters-thrive-in-regional-areas-with-no-paper/12892854 .

The same could be said for community radio which is run by volunteers. They are providing the news and local content where regional radio cannot afford or does not want to provide.

It may well explain why regional radio is not the "...rivers of gold..." of yesterday.

Thank you,
Anthony of analytical Belfield
Regional Radio: Why is there a Bullseye on its Back?
18 December 2020 - 9:34pm
The only reason there is a breakfast announcer is because the politicians want to be able to reach the electors in their electorate. This caused the ACMA to have local content rules.
The ACMA changed the rules for AM stations to give them a supplementary FM licence most of which are networked content.

Digital Radio Mondiale in the VHF band has been available to broadcasters for 10 years. The regional broadcasters should have adopted it by now. It would mean that the poor sounding AM could have been swapped for good quality stereo sound and the supplementary "FM" program would have been transmitted by the same transmitter. There is enough data available to use Journaline to produce an electronic newspaper including pictures. The slideshow could also be used for advertising along with program related images. That would be good since rural newspapers are disappearing. The radio station journalist can produce text/images along with reading the news, all live. There is no printing costs and no more transmission costs.

DAB+ used in metro areas could do the same but has filled simulcasts of analog radio and poor sound quality computer replays of various music types and no announcers. How does this type of programming compare to streaming from international sources?
The ACMA should have limited a broadcaster to a maximum of a pair of each program streams so there would be more variety of broadcasters. The transmitters are effectively owned by Commercial Radio Australia.

Regional Radio: Why is there a Bullseye on its Back?
18 December 2020 - 2:56am
Here, Here.

However it extends further. The lack of knowledge of broadcasting technology by management of broadcasters is doing the following;
Prevents innovation. For example we have had DAB+ digital radio for 11 years, why haven't we switched off the money guzzling AM and FM transmitters in those areas. Yes listeners would have to buy a new radio, but they have spent money on smart speakers, tablets and mobile phones to listen to the same or new competitor's programming.
Similarly in the country most commercial broadcasters have an AM and an FM transmitter. The adoption of DRM means that they could use a single transmitter to carry both programs in FM quality at a lower price and still cover the same coverage area which DAB+ cannot do.

Digital radio can transmit pictures which would be great for advertisers and emergencies.
Are unaware that digital broadcasting is much cheaper than distribution via the mobile phone/NBN networks both for the broadcaster and the listener. Why are the broadcasters paying extra to the telcos?

Radio transmitters are the most reliable method of alerting the community about emergencies, when the mobile phone base stations have a limited number of transmitters/receivers and each can only service one phone/tablet at a time. This makes narrowcasting impractical for large audiences.

Is this competitive information causing broadcasters to innovate. No, because it is not known and understood by managers.
Implausible isn't impossible
Anthony The Koala
17 December 2020 - 11:21am
On 2BL (ABC702), there is a great program in December substituting for "Conversations" with Sarah Konowski and Richard Fidler at 1100, Monday-Friday. It's entertaining and it's about show businesses particularly by OUR local artists and producers.

What does the ABC website https://www.abc.net.au/radio/sydney/live/ about the name of the program or presenters? Nothing! It still has Richard Fidler's face as at 17/12/2020 at 1100.

That is unfair.

This should not imply that I don't listen "Conversations", because I do. BUT another great show should have publicity for the duration of "Conversations" not being on air. A little promotion saying "Conversations will resume at mm/dd/yyyy. Enjoy unnamed program with A and B"

I don't even know who the dynamic duo are now!

Slack ABC.

Anthony of I like my ABC too of Belfield
ABC Radio confirms the 2021 lineup with only a few changes
Anthony The Koala
15 December 2020 - 2:08pm
Dear Mr St. John,
I fully concur with you that you would not push for AM receivers with synchronous detection. It's too late, you "cannot unscramble the egg". In 'theory' synchronous detectors should have been made mandatory under the law administered by the PMG and Australian Broadcasting Control Board. Again, it's too late.

Having said that, SDR implementations of AM radio do have digital filtering techniques to significantly noise, 9kHz whistling and 'monkey chatter'.

FM's RDS system is too slow only enough to promote limited news, weather and tune information.

The potential of DAB+ has not been fully exploited with enhanced features such as journaline, TPEG and emergency wakeup. The same could be said about DRM+'s potential, a topic you have been crusading many times on this website. This is especially that DRM+'s being suitable for overseas and rural transmissions.

My question to you is if an emergency system is implemented under the DAB+ or DRM+ and the NBN and mobile phone systems are out-of-action, do you need a separate broadcast tower and mobile phone tower and separate power supplies?

What about a reliable link between the studio and transmission tower that is not delivered by the internet?

For example you mentioned a few times on this site, the devastation in Bateman's Bay of the bushfires destroying the ABC transmitters source, 4th June, 2020, 1:32pm, https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/telephones-weak-link-remote-broadcasting.

If the ABC in Bateman's Bay implemented a DAB+ or DRM+ with the transmission/reception system capable of journaline, TPEG and wakeup facility how would you prevent the broadcast transmitters from being destroyed again as happened during the bushfire?

In addition how would a link between the studio and transmitter be implemented without going through the internet = NBN?

Thank you,
Anthony of curious Belfield
Who said older radio listeners would have trouble finding digital platforms? Not 2CH!
15 December 2020 - 12:26pm
It's the second run for Triple M in Perth on analog radio. 96FM adopted the Triple M branding in the early 90's when the network was pushing a contemporary music format, prior to the Austereo days. Will be very interesting. The Mayor is back onair at 92.9 Triple M
15 December 2020 - 11:14am
I would not push for new receivers with synchronous detection, digital reception has a lot more to offer. Such as;
stereo sound and the high pitched sounds that virtually all AM receivers remove to prevent interference particularly at night.
The parts of DAB+/DRM which are not being used in Australia are
Slideshow for images on the radio screen. The ABC transmits only an icon
Journaline which is an indexed many page text system, which could create an electronic newspaper.
The transmission of TPEG data so that road closures etc can be sent directly to vehicle navigation systems to re-route traffic. FM's RDS does it but it is very limited in the number of changes because of the very low available data rate.
Most importantly with the severe fires and storm events the Emergency Warning Functionality is yet to be used. This is where when a receiver is in the emergency area, it and the listener can be woken, a voice announcement is made along with a map and detailed instructions on what to do along with road closures sent to vehicles. This system can work when the mobile phone system and NBN cannot be relied on.
Who said older radio listeners would have trouble finding digital platforms? Not 2CH!


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